What are alternatives to hysterectomy for precancerous cells in cervix

Posted by jennyallen @jennyallen, May 2 3:20pm

My 38 year-old goddaughter has been told she needs a hysterectomy for precancerous cells in her cervix. She is anxious to know if there are ary alternatives, as she would like to have a child.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Gynecologic Cancers Support Group.

@jennyallen That's really devastating news for your goddaughter. Mayo Clinic Connect members provide support and suggestions for what to ask providers. We can help you with that here so that you can bring that information to your goddaughter.

I'd like to ask you a few questions that will help us to support you. Do you know the name of the diagnosis for your goddaughter? A hysterectomy for "precancerous cells" sounds pretty drastic to me so I'm wondering what tests the doctor did. A pap smear? A pap smear tests for signs of cervical cancer but even if the pap smear is positive I would assume the doctor would order other tests. Have you read the pathology report on the diagnosis for those precancerous cells?


Thank you so much for your response. She had just gotten this news when I spoke with her. I need to ask her many questions--I agree that a hysterectomy sounds drastic for a pre-cancerous condition. She's had a colcopscopy, but I know no more details. I've been reading and reading on your website, and on NYU-Langone and CDC sites, and have been preparing questions to ask her.


@jennyallen You are very welcome. Those are reliable websites you've chosen to view. I usually choose websites with .org, gov, or .edu at the end of the web address meaning the website is academic (edu) USA website such as CDC (.gov) or nonprofit (.org such as Mayo Clinic). You might also like to check out these websites. I've chosen websites on Cervical Cancer because I'm thinking this might be what your goddaughter is concerned about.

Mayo Clinic-Cervical Cancer:

-- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cervical-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20352501

--National Cancer Society-The Pap Test

-- https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/cervical-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/screening-tests/pap-test.html

If you have other questions for us will you please let me know?


If I were in her position I would consult an expert at a major center for a second opinion. At age 38 a medically induced menopause that might be avoided holds other health risks including osteoporosis, quite apart from not being able to have children, which is a major consideration. I would only have the hysterectomy as a last resort. My uneducated opinion is that this recommendation is overkill.

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